(Reuters) – Plenty of U.S. Democratic presidential candidates and lawmakers on Friday demanded Puerto Rico’s governor step down over offensive chat messages, as hundreds on the Caribbean island staged a seventh day of protests to seem at his resignation.
Banging pots and pans and chanting “Ricky Resign!,” Puerto Ricans streamed into San Juan’s dilapidated city on Friday evening and referred to as on Ricardo Rossello to prevent over the misogynistic and homophobic messages.
The chats, from a Telegram message neighborhood and referring mainly to politicians and officers, had been printed on Saturday.
The leak, working to 889 pages, added to Rossello’s woes after two broken-down officers had been arrested by the FBI final week as a part of a federal corruption probe within the U.S. territory.
The protests have additionally tapped into simmering resentment over Rossello’s going thru of devastating hurricanes in 2017 and alleged corruption as Puerto Rico’s fragile financial system struggles to recuperate from the island’s chapter.
U.S. Consultant Tulsi Gabbard joined the protests in San Juan, announcing she wanted to “arise to corruption,” as other Democratic presidential candidates including Julian Castro and Elizabeth Warren additionally referred to as for Rossello to prevent.
“We need to always stand with la isla. Rossello need to resign,” tweeted U.S. Consultant Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, whose mother used to be born in Puerto Rico.
The island’s nonvoting representative within the U.S. Congress, Jenniffer Gonzalez, earlier referred to as for his resignation, whereas Rossello’s press secretary Dennise Perez resigned, announcing she may per chance per chance per chance now now not preserve the role after she used to be referred to as corrupt in entrance of her son.
“It’s your turn, Ricky,” protesters chanted on the avenue after observe spread that Perez had stepped aside.
Rossello, who’s affiliated with the U.S. Democratic Celebration, has refused to step down however acknowledged he would preserve an emergency meeting with leaders of Puerto Rico’s New Modern Celebration, which he leads.
Puerto Rico Condo Speaker Carlos Mendez on Friday offered the creation of an neutral committee to hunt down out whether or now not the heart-merely baby-kisser engaged in illegal process within the chats. The neighborhood has ten days to verbalize its findings.
The island’s bar affiliation printed a account citing particular grounds to question the 40-year-dilapidated broken-down scientist, basically based entirely entirely on the “depravity” of his messages.
The chats, published by Puerto Rico’s Center for Investigative Journalism, showed how Rossello and allies exchanged indecent memes and feedback as successfully as privileged data.
While opposition legislators relieve impeachment, the system has yet to make excessive give a snatch to from lawmakers in Rossello’s ruling occasion.
But politicians like Gonzalez are increasingly more enthusiastic in Puerto Rico’s “anarchic” describe after clashes in San Juan this week and allegations the 2 administration officers arrested by the FBI stole government funds.
The violence and political turmoil comes at a excessive stage within the U.S. territory’s chapter job. It has additionally raised considerations with U.S. lawmakers who are weighing the island’s requests for billions of federal dollars for healthcare and storm restoration efforts.
“The island cannot have sufficient money to lose already licensed federal sources, nor the ones we’re working to perform,” Gonzalez acknowledged in her letter to Rossello urging him to step aside.
Reporting by Andrew Hay in Taos, New Mexico, and Karen Pierog and Brendan O’Brien in Chicago; Extra reporting by Luis Valentin Ortiz in San Juan; Enhancing by Richard Chang and John Stonestreet